OK… After years of writing articles for a weekly temple newsletter, I’m excited to head out on my own, planting seeds and kernels from my Jewish world, to grow into the many hearts and minds that will,(hopefully), be following my posts. With the help of some of the incredible team members at The Chad Barr Group, the creative designer, Lihi Ben Zaquen, technical whiz, Jake Ross, and of course the cyber strategist behind the site, Chad Barr. I am very excited to share with you my experiences with the hope that you will continue to enhance my life with the bounty of yours and together showcase a Jewish life filled with joyful spirit.
So, nu? Let’s begin…… (big breath)….
I just returned from an extended trip to sunny Florida where I spent Sukkot with my daughter, son-in law and grandkids. When I arrived the kids were putting on the finishing touches to their beautiful sukkah, hanging garlands cut and strung from swimming pool noodles, (a genius idea in place of the soggy, weeping paper garlands that droop and tear in the rain), and homemade painted and bedazzled artwork by my grandkids to welcome the ushpuzin, their Sukkot guests.
The first meal in the sukkah is always so exciting; the prayers, blessings and special round challahs drizzled with honey shared while sitting elbow to elbow in the flimsy walled booth, and incredibly humid Florida heat. Nothing like the chilly Sukkot gatherings we share up north where hot soups,casseroles and steamy cups of tea are the usual sukkah fare.
Weather aside, this holiday always reminds me of the fragility of life. In an instant, a gust of wind or heavy rain can blow the sukkah over and end up crumpled in the yard just as our lives can change in a blink of an eye. We are commanded to sit in the sukkah, surround ourselves with family and friends and rejoice in the holiday no matter the weather and feel God’s presence as did our ancestors long ago. I’m back home in the cold, windy Cleveland weather, but I can still feel the warmth of Sukkot in my heart with gratitude for all the blessings I enjoy each day.